Bundaberg region manufacturers NewFresh Foods and Aletek have received grants totalling over $3 million from the Made in Queensland (MiQ) program.
Alloway’s NewFresh Foods was awarded $1.91 million to help it invest in machinery that would extract compounds from crops that would be rejected by supermarkets for cosmetic reasons such as blemishes.
Nutraceutical and functional food businesses currently import plant extracts, said Geoff Fisher of NewFresh.
“We know in Australia we grow superior food products and so if we can also extract the active ingredients, or the effective compounds, that these companies have identified as ingredients for their products, then all the better,” Fisher said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This support is massive for our region, we are bringing high-tech manufacturing back into Queensland, creating skilled jobs away from the capital cities, and this will put us at the forefront of our industry.”
Aletek of Svensson Heights earned a $1.36 million grant, which would help it invest in a laser scanner and three new CNC machines.
Peter Churchill, the operations manager at the company – which makes heavy-duty exhausts and other parts used by mining industry clients – said the investment would provide “a competitive edge” as it grew internationally.
“Right now, products manufactured here in regional Queensland face up to a 15-business-day turnaround for raw materials,” said Churchill.
“These industry-leading machines will eliminate that delay, increasing our competitiveness in manufacturing both for Australia and overseas. In addition this investment will turbocharge Aletek’s factory floor capabilities and significantly improve our agility when meeting global customer expectations.”
According to Queensland manufacturing minister Glenn Butcher, the two grants would support over 80 jobs in the industry, which contributed $20 billion a year to Queensland’s economy.
Picture: Inside Aletek’s warehouse (www.aletek.com.au)
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